By Richard Zagrzecki
For the past five months, Esteban Valencia has kept busy capturing the essence of student housing at the University of Houston through videos and photos.
In that short time, he’s written, shot and edited video tours of most of the on-campus residential communities, as well as created videos featuring residence life coordinators welcoming students back to campus. He’s also designed a T-shirt for the MAP-Works project and a flier for an upcoming football barbecue tailgate event at Cougar Place.
The digital media junior from Houston found the student worker position and its job duties to be a perfect fit for him and is allowing him to gain valuable experience for his chosen career path once he graduates next May.
That career path he hopes to pursue blends his two passions: videos/photography and music.
“I would like to be able to write and create music videos,” he said. “I’d love to be able to gear it toward that as much as I can. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to do that.”
For the past several years, he and four other friends who met in high school have played in a heavy metal band called Shadows Before Us. Valencia plays guitar. They write their own songs and have finished one CD and are currently recording a second one. They’ve performed in venues in the Houston area and some surrounding cities.
Valencia, who graduated from Lee High School on the southwest side of town, is the first person in his family to attend UH. He has a younger brother who attends the University of Texas.
For as long as he can remember, he’s always been interested in photography. He always has a camera with him, which means he usually is the one taking photos at family events and gatherings.
Attending UH seemed like a logical fit to him, and the fact it was close to home was a major selling point. When he first got here as a freshman, however, he wanted to pursue a degree in computer information systems. It didn’t take him long, though, to realize that was not for him, which is how he ended up switching to digital media.
“I knew I had always been good at videos and photography and had an eye for it, so this just seemed like a perfect fit,” he said.